If you have been watching the TV news coverage of the election results and the political fallout, you might have thought that the Labour Party gained the most seats and that Corbyn pulled off the most surprising election victory of recent times. But you would be wrong. You might ask the question then, why does the Conservative party look so bewildered.
Let’s rewind the clock back 6 weeks to the 18th of April when the Prime minister surprised everybody and called a snap election despite repeatedly saying she would not. Watching her statement live, it became clear to me that she would be fighting this election on one key issue. Yes you guessed it. Brexit.
Throughout her statement she called for the British public to “strengthen her hand” and that we face a stark choice between a “strong and stable Conservative government” compared to “the weak leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and a coalition of chaos”. There was no reference to domestic issues at all.
The prime minster blamed the other Westminster parties for “political game playing” and said they were deliberately trying to frustrate the Brexit process. I’m sure that the huge 20 point lead in many of the polls predicting a Conservative landslide had nothing to do with her calling this election.
However there was one thing that the polls, the Conservatives and probably many Labour MPs at the time were not expecting. Jeremy Corbyn running a very good campaign and Theresa May appearing weak and wobbly, leading one of the worst Conservative Campaigns potentially ever. George Osborne who was the previous chancellor and now editor of the Evening Standard said on the Andrew Marr show that Mrs May, “was a dead women walking”. Not a vote of confidence there then.
Jeremy Corbyn flipped the cards and changed the whole focus of this election campaign on domestic issues, focusing on NHS, nationalisation programmes and free tuition fees. The famous money tree promised lots of high ticket items. It seemed to strike a chord with the people.
But that’s the point. This election was so different to any other election we have ever had because the pollsters and the main stream media had created this expectation of a land slide victory. And this is why May appears to have lost this election.
May was expecting to gain 50-100 seats however she stands before us as a weakened and humiliated Prime minister by a net loss of 13 seats for the Conservative, angering many of her own MPs.
When the result became clear on election night it left many people shocked. May and Corbyn had switched places, with many Conservative MPs calling Mays leadership into question. MP Anna Soubry said at her count that Mrs May is ‘in a very difficult place’ following a ‘dreadful campaign’. And that she should “reconsider her position”
Post-election Mrs May has ended up with potentially having to create a government being supported by the DUP. And her own leadership has been called in to question where as Corbyn has come out looking victorious, addressing huge crowds and growing in confidence. How long can May now last.